I left a little piece of myself in Shenandoah this year. Not physically, but emotionally. That place is magic. Seriously; pure magic. It is so beautiful that it doesn't even seem real.
After leaving the beach we drove about 4 hours to western Virginia. The plan was to travel part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and all of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park over the course of a few days.
I got my first taste of it last year and had a great experience then, too. We ran into the same problem this year though, we didn't have enough time. You could spend an entire week there and not run out of things to do. I also realized that each year was significantly different. At the beach I ended up doing some different things, but overall the trip was quite similar. Shenandoah was a completely different experience though in a very good way.
Over the course of a few days we ended up seeing a ton of deer, four black bears, two copperhead snakes, and a rattlesnake. I love seeing the bears out in the woods but this time around three of the bears were just cubs but their mothers weren't in sight. That made me slightly nervous! Seeing the copperheads and rattlesnakes made me very, very nervous. I am not a snake person by any means. Still fun experiences though!
This years theme seemed to be waterfall hikes. We did three different hikes to waterfalls which I loved. I love walking along and then hearing the water in the distance before coming upon the beautiful sight ahead. Nature is so cool!
The water at this fall was SO CLEAR. I couldn't get over it. If it was deeper I probably would have jumped in and still be swimming around with the cute little fish.
I haven't been to a waterfall where you can swim yet, but someday that will happen and I can't wait for it!
Spending your days hiking and driving upon breathtaking landscapes is one of the best ways to spend the day. In between our hikes we drove throughout the forest, stopping at almost all of the pull offs and just taking in the scenery.
I didn't get to practice much yoga on the trip, so obviously impromptu yoga photo shoots had to happen when the moment felt right. I think by the end my family never wanted to take another yoga picture for a long time. Whoops!
Our last night there a thunderstorm popped up a few hours before sunset. I really wanted to catch the sunset so I was really hoping that the skies would clear in time. After the storm everything was so foggy. Seeing the fog in the valleys was so cool. It made me feel like I was on top of the world. Literally!
Once the sun began to set the sky turned such pretty colors. Seeing the sun set upon miles and miles of rolling hills with the silence of the forest surrounding you is something special. I sat to watch for a while and then once it got really pretty I was running all over the place taking a bunch of pictures and having such a fun time doing so.
Overall, I had such a lovely time and want to go back asap. I was actually thinking about going back this weekend but no one is interested in doing so. Plus, I should probably hang out at home and relax a bit after a crazy couple of weeks. But still, going back asap. Shenandoah has such a special place in my heart now and the fact that it's only 4 hours from my house gives me all of the reasons in the world to get myself back there. Can you imagine this place in the fall?! It would be insane.
*pencils in to fall calendar to visit again*
Have you ever been to Shenandoah? What are your favorite National Parks or trails that I should visit? I'd love to hear from you!